Mr Hyde in Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

Mr Hyde

  • evil
  • murderous
  • Jekyll's alter ego

Mr Hyde is described as devilish, evil and a criminal mastermind. Stevenson makes Hyde more mysterious by only hinting at his physical appearance - he is smaller than Jekyll and whenever people see him, they are deeply affected by his looks and spirit.

He is violent and commits terrible crimes - the trampling of an innocent young girl and the murder of Carew. He is unforgiving and doesn't repent for his crimes and sins. He is selfish and wishes for complete dominance over Jekyll.

How is Mr Hyde like this?EvidenceAnalysis
UglyHe is described as ugly and Stevenson suggests he has the face of Satan. Everybody Hyde meets in the novel is afflicted with his 'nightmarish' appearance."There is something wrong with his appearance; something displeasing, something downright detestable. I never saw a man so disliked."This quote from Enfield shows that he is greatly appalled and disgusted by Hyde's appearance, suggesting that he is other-worldly and doesn't belong in the reputable society of Victorian London. The repetition of 'something' exaggerates how deformed Hyde is, as Enfield can't quite put his finger on it.
MurderousHyde murders Carew and tramples on a little girl causing her legs to break....with ape-like fury, he was trampling his victim under foot, and hailing down a storm of blows.The use of the simile 'ape-like fury' describes Hyde as an animal capable of rages, not a human. This shows that Hyde doesn't care about his actions and has no control over his fiery, animalistic behaviour.
PowerfulTowards the end of the book, Hyde becomes the dominant side to Dr Jekyll's personality. Each time Dr Jekyll turns into Mr Hyde, Mr Hyde gets stronger and makes it more difficult for Dr Jekyll to turn to his 'original' self."It took on this occasion a double dose to recall me to myself; and alas!"This shows that Mr Hyde is getting stronger, as Dr Jekyll needs to use more drugs to return to his former self. The use of the exclamation mark suggests that this surprises and also scares Jekyll as he is unsure and wary of Hyde's power.

Social and historical context

In the Victorian era, many people were religious and believed in the devil. Many believed that people harnessed the Devil's power when they committed evil acts and crimes.

Victorian literature shows this through the opposition of good and evil, reflecting the good and evil in people. Many texts from the Victorian period have this clear motif.

Analysing the evidence

I could hear his teeth grate with the convulsive action of his jaws; and his face was so ghastly to see that I grew alarmed for both his life and reason.Description of Mr Hyde

In this extract, how does Stevenson present the character of Mr Hyde?

'I could hear his teeth grate with the convulsive action of his jaws; and his face was so ghastly to see that I grew alarmed for both his life and reason.'

  • 'teeth grate' - this shows he is anxious, angry and waiting to devour something. It is animalistic behaviour and shows how Stevenson presents Hyde as an animal.
  • 'ghastly' - this shows how horrific and terrifying Hyde's appearance is.
  • 'I grew alarmed' - this shows Dr Lanyon's fear, as he is scared for Hyde's life as he is acting strangely.